Share this @internewscast.com
A former Idaho lawmaker was convicted Friday of raping a teenage intern, ending a dramatic trial.
Idaho Republican Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, was convicted of forcing sex onto the 19-year-old woman who ran off the witness stand saying “I can’t do this” during her testimony. She became upset after explaining “he tried to put his fingers between my legs” and the unidentified victim closed her knees.
Judge Michael Reardon instructed the jury to disregard the woman’s testimony after she was no longer able to continue and unavailable for cross-examination.
The young woman had told a Statehouse supervisor she and von Ehlinger had gone out to dinner, then returned to her apartment where she was raped.
Von Ehlinger testified the pair’s March 2021 night out in Boise was “going well” and that the sex was consensual.
He resigned his position as a state representative amid the allegations of impropriety. Von Ehlinger could serve as little as a year in prison and as much as the rest of his life for a felony rape conviction when he is sentenced on July 28. He was not convicted on a charge of sexual penetration with a foreign object.
The defendant kept his composure throughout the trial and was walked off in handcuffs to start the weekend.
Prosecutors commended the victim for showing “an incredible amount of courage” by coming forward. She had reportedly been harassed by von Ehlinger supporters who identified her online and shared the woman’s personal information after her allegations became public.
One of her alleged tormentors showed up to attend the hearing, but law enforcement kept that man from the courthouse floor while the case was being tried.
With News Wire Services